Ramius’ Philippe Dame talks about the Sixent social networking platform

Sixent BetaYesterday, I posted about the very positive experience I’ve had trying out the beta of the new social networking platform, Sixent.

It’s not surprising how good Sixent is right out of the gate if you consider that Ramius has had extensive experience with online collaboration. Its Community Zero product has been in use by corporations and organizations for almost a decade. They’ve clearly applied the insight they gained through Community Zero in building a user friendly, intuitive, functional and fun social network platform.

Philippe DanePhilippe Dame, Ramius’ C.O.O., sat down with me recently to talk about Sixent and what he believes makes it stand out.

In creating Sixent, the Ramius’ team’s objective was to “create a social network in which people could share their life the way they want to and connect with people in a meaningful way.” The key to their approach to this is to provide Sixent users with a “lot of control over how they connect with people,” explains Philippe. This translates into “how they disclose their own information and how they disclose content to people.”

“We’ve tried to emulate exactly how people want to present their own personas online. We all operate personal and professional sides. Now with social media and the Web, we’re becoming more familiar with having a public side – be it a Twitter feed or other kinds of services. We want to provide you with adequate ability to segment what you would say and show about yourself, and do so in a really easy to use way.” Philippe suggests that Sixent’s approach to enabling users to show different profiles to different people, “provides a degree of control that is unprecedented.”

“With our heritage in enterprise collaborative software, we are taking it to a corporate market in the fall,” Philippe says. “The idea of categorizing your contacts and having multiple profiles plays well in terms of people’s dual roles of interacting with their colleagues as well as dealing with partners and customers that go outside the firewall. People don’t want to join multiple social networks. So, if they can have a single dashboard and identity, and achieve these things in a controlled way, we think we’ve got a success on our hands.”

“This is an environment in which you are trying to provide a utility to your users so that different kinds of interactions can take place that weren’t previously possible. If they can connect that back to a growing public network, it can provide both great utility for the organization in terms of a deeper reach into the social graph of their own customers and partners. It can also work on the reverse, where users are now able to interact on a personal level in a kind of sister network and be getting more utility from it and therefore coming back on a regular basis, really solving the key adoption issue of getting people to be on your network and to be productive people there.”

First impression of Sixent: A winning social networking platform with a twist

Community managers, marketers and communicators have a new community building tool.

Sixent BetaOttawa-based Ramius has pulled the wraps off its new social networking platform, Sixent.

I’ve been testing the Beta. And so far, I’m very impressed with this platform. I think it has a potential to be an industry leader.

Right off, I was struck by how easy Sixent is for a new user to master. The first thing that hit me when I signed on for the first time was the outstanding tutorials and demonstrations. There’s a popup help and tutorial box that explains the features of Sixent and guides new users through every task they might want to perform in order to make use of the community.

Sixent Welcome PopUp

Once you’re past the basics, everything is intuitive, easy to use and the information you want is where you’d expect it to be.

New users are asked to create three profiles – personal, professional and public. This is easier than it sounds. A neat feature of the set up screen enables you to set up the basic information that you’d like to make available in your public profile and then copy it with one click to your professional and personal profiles. You can then enter the additional information you want to share with people who you will let see each profile. In my case, for example, I share my age with friends who have access to my personal profile, but now with those who can only see my business profile. Sixent makes this incredibly easy to set up and then use. It took me less than 10 minutes to set up all three profiles.

Different users will see only the profile you want them to see

The software also lets users add additional profiles. So I set up a “social media” profile that includes additional information about my geeky side that will only be meaningful to the people who read my blog and share my interest in social media and online community.

Sixent is aimed squarely at the enterprise market. However, the developers at Ramius have designed it to be familiar and intuitive to people already on Facebook and the other mass consumer social networking sites. This design approach will make it very easy for corporations to use it as a platform for social networks inside and outside the organization, as users will be able to immediately begin to use an interface that seems very familiar.

Let’s try it together

The only problem I have so far with Sixent? There isn’t a very big community there. However, that can be fixed pretty easily. All that has to happen is for you and others to join and try it out.

If you want to try out Sixent, I’m “thornley.” Add me as a contact on sixent and let’s explore its usefulness together.